Health expert welcomes gov’t decision to provide COVID-19 booster shots for medical workers

Published October 27, 2021, 2:50 PM

by Analou de Vera

A nurse prepares a syringe of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, in Garlan, western France, on May 31, 2021. Fred TANNEAU / AFP

An infectious disease expert welcomed the move of the government to provide COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to healthcare workers to further protect them against the viral illness.

Booster doses can increase the healthcare workers’ confidence in handling COVID-19 cases, said Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of San Lazaro Hospital’s Adult Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine Unit.

“Malaking bagay ito kasi especially for the healthcare workers na talagang nakikita natin iyong mga breakthrough infections especially iyong nabakunahan noong March na nagka-infection sila noong time of surge, August and September (This is a big thing, especially for the healthcare workers as we really observed that some of them got breakthrough infections—- especially those who were vaccinated in March—-some got infected during the time of surge, August and September),” said Solante in a public press briefing on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

“This is something na we look forward sa mga healthcare workers na kung mabigay na itong booster sa mga healthcare workers, tataas ulit ang kumpiyansa natin if in case mayroong surge at iyong kumpiyansa natin sa paghawak ng mga pasyenteng may COVID-19 (This is something that we look forward to for the healthcare workers. If this booster is given to healthcare workers, their confidence will increase again, in case there will be another surge, and our confidence in handling patients with COVID-19),” he added.

Booster doses will protect healthcare workers from developing severe COVID-19 if they contracted the illness, said Solante.

“So, unahin natin dito sa mga nabakunahan noong March. So, kapag naturukan ka ng booster shot babalik iyong protection mo noong dati noong nabakunahan ka ng two dose. So, ibig sabihin mataas ang proteksiyon mo uli (So, let’s prioritize those who were vaccinated last March. So, when you are given a booster shot, your protection will return to when you were vaccinated with two doses. So, it means your protection will be high again),” he said.

“Napakalaking bagay nito dahil ang pinakaimportante pa rin nito is we’ll not be infected, mababa ang risk ng transmission and at the same time hindi tayo makakuha ng severe na COVID (It’s a huge thing because the most important thing is the risk of transmission is low and at the same time, we won’t get severe COVID),” he added.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that the administration of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for healthcare workers and other priority groups is expected to begin next month.